Posts filed under ‘perpetrated by animals’
The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) at the University of Reading found a dead mouse in its 155-year-old “perpetual mouse trap.” Rest in peace, little mouse. Your deed shall live forever in the records of the museum. Thanks, Lynne M. Thomas!
Birds living in a cathedral in Zvenigorod, Russia accidentally preserved documents from the 1830s! ” ‘Swifts and jackdaws, which collected the documents to build nests, run their archives differently than people do,’ wrote Sedov [Dmitriy Sedov, research director of the Zvenigorod Historical and Architectural Museum] in a statement on the museum’s website. Instead of gathering up the most historically important documents and shelving them according to subject and chronology, the birds took whatever they could find. The result is an ‘incredibly diverse collection of fragments of human thoughts, feelings, experiences, concerns, passions and desires,’ he wrote, forming ‘a single giant discordant chorus’ of Zvenigorod life from 1830 through the early 1900s.”
Sometime in the year 1445 (probably), a cat stepped in black ink and made paw prints in this Croatian manuscript. I wonder what the scribe (likely a monk) said when he (likely a he) found these marks. My guess is that it involved a few swear words. Thanks, Ross Gresham!
The Countway Library of Harvard Medical School lends out a therapy dog named Cooper to those with the proper ID. From the library catalog record for Cooper: “1 dog (Shih Tzu) : dark brown, ash, and white hair, 15 lbs. ; 39 cm long. Notes: Should you have a good cry or even feign a whimper near Coop, you are guaranteed to get lots of kisses.”
Thanks, Joan Petit!
Thanks, Kathleen Kirk (and others, but Kathleen was first).
Okay, so this isn’t precisely a library shenanigan, but it’s close enough, I think — people tend to elide museums and libraries.
On May 10, 1922, Colorado College students removed taxidermied animals from the college museum in Palmer Hall and placed them all over campus. This shenanigan was apparently in protest of then-president of the college, Clyde Duniway, whose policies were unpopular with students: he limited the times when men could visit women’s dormitories; strictly enforced chapel attendance; and fired a football coach for using profanity on the field. 350 students (about half the total enrollment) signed a petition complaining about Duniway, to no avail. The animals prank was one of several that spring: students also released hydrogen sulfide in one classroom building and somehow got a live cow up to the second floor of another.
In January of 1929, CC students again placed the museum animals around campus, this time to protest the firing of the editor of the student newspaper.
Source: J. Juan Reid, Colorado College: The First Century (1979), chapter V, “Controversy and Student Unrest.”
Mental Floss provides “9 Very Specific Rules From Real Libraries.” Thanks, Steven Kotok!